Summit Academy is founded on the principle that learning systems have to be sufficiently flexible and adaptable to meet the individualized needs of its student population.
Summit Academy has emerged as a leader among small schools in The Bahamas due to its world-class, international curriculum. The cornerstone of our curriculum is the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). Our “smaller, smarter” school is proud to be the sole provider of The IPC in The Bahamas. Currently, the curriculum is delivered in over 1,800 schools in more than 90 countries and is one of the fastest growing curriculum programs in the world. The inclusion of the IPC ensures that our students, here in The Bahamas, are being exposed to the same learning content as their peers around the world. This world-class curriculum positions our students for globalization.
The IPC is geared towards students ages 3-12 and is guided by three key questions:
- What kind of world will our children live and work in?
- What kinds of children are likely to succeed in the world?
- What kinds of learning will our children need and how should they learn it?
These questions frame the over 130 engaging, globally relevant, inquiry-based themes that make up the IPC.
The units are further divided into The Early Years Programme (Ages 3-5), Milepost 1 (ages 3-4), Milepost 2 (Ages 7-9) and Milepost 3 (ages 9-12). Our curriculum includes units from each section. We are particularly excited about the addition of the newly released International Early Years Curriculum (ages 2-5) which we will introduce to our preschool students during the 2016-2017 academic year. At Summit Academy, each teacher, in conjunction with the Administrative team, selects 4 to 6 themes to complete over the course of the academic year. Each unit is taught for a duration of four to seven weeks.
At the very heart of the IPC are its learning goals. These IPC learning goals explicitly state:
- What each child should know
- What they should be able to do by the end of the unit
- The understandings that they should develop in their academic/subject, personal and international learning. Subjects included in the IPC units are Science, History, Geography, ICT, Technology, Music, Art, PE, Society and International.
IPC Personal Learning Goals include Science, History, Geography, ICT, Technology, Music, Art, PE, Society and International.
IPC assessments, both formal and summative, are directed by each of these goals.
Summit Academy’s Early Childhood Program consists of 65 students ranging in age from two to five years old. The teacher/student ratio never exceeds 1:8, making the classroom environment conducive to small group learning and personalized attention. There are 4 fully-trained early childhood teachers that are responsible for teaching Literacy, Science, Social Studies, Mathematics and Art. There are also 4 learning assistants, one attached to each of the four preschool classes, and 3 specialists that teach Music, Physical Education and Spanish. The preschool curriculum received a major revision for the 2016/2017 academic year that will see the majority of curriculum content delivered primarily through play-based, hands-on learning activities. We are also pleased to announce the addition of a dedicated center room in the preschool division where students can develop their fine motor, social/emotional, visual-spatial and reasoning skills, just to name a few.
In addition to the IPC, Summit Academy utilizes a number of top programs to meet its educational objectives. We have been using U.S. common core based learning materials since 2012. Every student follows a research-based core curriculum that consists of, but is not limited to, the following subjects: Mathematics, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, History, Creative Arts, Physical Education, Information and Computer Technology, Foreign Language, Health Science, Character Education, Religious Education, Cultural Studies.
Full STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Ahead At Summit!
Summit Academy is pleased to have launched its first STEAM Expo in 2015. These expos showcase a wide range of hands-on, inquiry-based science experiments by our students. From creating solar powered vehicles to hydroponics, our students were able to display their budding scientific genius in so many exciting ways. In the run-up to this year’s expo, students of all ages at Summit engaged in a myriad of activities and projects, including coding, robotics, programming (even preschoolers!), bridge building, mathematical, musical and artistic explorations.
This systematic exposure of our students to problem-based science and new learning technologies has translated into outstanding results for our students.
Technology at Summit
Summit Academy’s students are exposed to educational programming that develops their digital literacy skills in a cutting-edge environment. Through our partnership with a local IT firm, we were recently able to completely modernize our computer lab with the addition of flat screen, touch-enabled computers, cable television, a large flat screen television and Apple TV. Additionally, through the installation of fiber optic cabling at our school, we now benefit from a Wi-Fi campus. Having implemented a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiative for students in grades 4-6, students are able to use internet-based learning technology while sitting in their classrooms. Students are exposed to a blended learning program from first grade. Every classroom at Summit Academy is fully equipped with a large screen Promethean Board that can instantly access thousands of curriculum-support materials online. Our lower elementary and pre-school students also enjoy a 1:1 I-Pad ratio to support their learning objectives.
All students in grades 1-6 receive foreign language instruction in Spanish from our foreign language specialist twice per week. Through a partnership with one of America’s top foreign language universities,
we are now able to offer our students in third grade and higher, the option to access additional languages including, but not limited to Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Portuguese & German.
Students receive online instruction from U.S. based professors and receive credit from the university.
At Summit, there is a full appreciation for the importance of a creative arts program in a well-rounded curriculum. With a recent restructuring, for the first time, our smaller, smarter school was able to enter the 2016 E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival. Our students performed at a level commensurate with the high expectations that we have come to expect from our students. We are pleased that four of our students performed exceptionally well. Jack Barr, a sixth grader, placed first in Violin. Taggart Zanetta, a fifth grader, placed first in the Viola. Hailey Viken, a sixth grader, placed second in the Recorder and Shari Smith, a sixth grader, placed fifth in the recorder.
The incorporation of art into International Primary Curriculum units was increased significantly this year as students took part in the school’s first ever art-based International Primary Curriculum open house. The exploration of educational concepts through art gave students an opportunity to sharpen their analytical skills. Be sure to check out our photo gallery to view photos from the event.